Wrath of the Roth for barista
Seven years ago Tokoroa barista Sjaan Sikking struggled to run 2.5 kilometres around the town lake but now she’s preparing to take on the world’s largest long distance triathlon.
The 23-year-old, who in 2016 became the first Cook Islander from the South Waikato to ever complete a full Ironman New Zealand in the 18-24 year age group, is set to compete in Germany’s Challenge Roth on July 9.
Competing in the 18-25 age group, alongside 5000 competitors from 60 different nations, she said her aim was to finish in the top ten and beat her Ironman New Zealand time of 13 hours and 45 minutes, where she finish fourth.
She’ll be swimming 3.8km, biking 180km, and running 42.2km.
But unlike many competitors who spend years preparing, Sikking literally got involved by accident.
‘‘I was training for Ironman New Zealand when I bumped into a lady from Rotorua who had fallen off her bike and been knocked out so I stopped to help,’’ she said.
‘‘Ever since then we have been really close and once I had finished Ironman she said she was going with a group to Germany’s Challenge Roth and asked if I would like to come.’’
Twenty five New Zealanders will take part in the challenge.
‘‘The people you meet are like minded and it makes you so happy too. I don’t think I’d be the person I am today if I wasn’t doing this,’’ Sikking said.
She said she has her former school teacher Andy Gray to thank for encouraging her.
‘‘I started running around the lake and I used to stop and walk because I was so tired but I pushed myself to do it everyday and eventually I thought I wanted to do something with it,’’ she said.
‘‘I never thought I would get into any of this though until I had a push from Andy who encouraged me to do my first half marathon and it built up from there.’’
‘‘I love the challenge of it all, the feeling of being sore and the feeling of accomplishment,’’ she said.
To help fundraise, Sweet Rose Espresso in Bridge St is raffling hampers for the next four months with $10 tickets sold also giving people the chance to win a Pavoni Stradivari coffee maker, which is the same model used in James Bond Moonraker, a coffee bean grinder and two bags of Otobahn coffee beans.
Tokoroa barista Sjaan Sikking.